Topics in Semantics: Negative Polarity Items

The sun shining through a layer of clouds.

Like the clouds that simultaneously obscure and reveal the sun in Alfred Stieglitz's 1926 photograph "Equivalent #314," negative polarity items may appear mysterious but can give us a window on the interaction of logic and grammar. (Public domain image courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art.)



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As Taught In

Fall 2018



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course is concerned with Negative Polarity Items. While raising familiar foundational questions for linguistic theory, Negative Polarity Items enter into complex and often revealing interactions with a host of other phenomena in grammar. Investigating several such interactions, the course touches on topics such as focus, presupposition, exhaustification, quantification, (in)definiteness, modals and attitudes, comparison and superlatives, and questions.

Related Content

Luka Crnic. 24.979 Topics in Semantics: Negative Polarity Items. Fall 2018. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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